The Great Wild Daffodil Hunt

Tuesday. Sunny day. No, not just a sunny day but a brightly sunny day! Warm too. So warm in fact that I actually had to remove one of the ten million layers of clothing that constitutes my Winter kit.
Well. Ok. Maybe that’s a slight exaggeration but you get the drift.
And that has to be a first for this year. Whoopee!

Utterly convinced then that Spring must be right on our doorstep mate and I decide to go on a hunt for that one sure sign that Spring’s definitely arrived. And so we embark upon…

The Great Wild Daffodil Hunt!

I do so love them gorgeous yellow flowers, sight of which always cheers me up enormously and suddenly makes me feel… ooh, Spring-like I suppose. Cos they’re such happy flowers. If you know what I mean.

Well, obvious place to start is gonna be along by the river. So we do.

And sure enough, there’s some daffs. But, er, not really blooming yet. Not as such. By the looks of them it won’t be long admittedly, but of that lovely yellow gladdens-the-heart colour… not a trace.

Bedford's Spring flowers _G103059

Oh well. Meander along the bank a little bit. Still no sign. Loads of other Springtime flowers, sure. Crocuses I think they are, but I could be totally wrong cos I ain’t really up on all these new-fangled names. Far as I’m concerned they’re pretty flower thingies.

Bedford's Spring flowers _G103098

But no daffs. Definitely no daffs. Oh pooh.

Saunter on a bit more then… and hey! I spy yellow! In the distance. Just a little single speck of yellow. A little daffodil-shaped speck of yellow. Down there, at the foot of a tree.

Pace quickening slightly (not too much cos we don’t wanna wear ourselves out) mate and I eventually arrive at this fulfillment of Spring’s promise, only to discover…
Yep, its a daffodil sure enough. But not exactly what you’d call a wild daffodil. Not exactly growing out of the ground sort of thing. Not as such. Not like wot proper daffs do.

No. Seems someone must have come along and plonked some cut daffs into a sort of pipe thingie sticking out of the ground.

Bedford's Spring flowers _G103161

Oh well, they’re daffs right enough. But don’t really qualify as our “quarry” so to speak. On with the Great Hunt then.

Cross over the river to the Embankment side and have a sniff around there for a while.

No daffs.

Mate remembers a little bit of green area stuck right in the middle of the junction of two of Bedford’s principal roads. Doesn’t even merit being called a park really but mate assures me daffs are always to be found there… during the right season of course.

Gullible me buys his tall tale so mooch on up there we do.

Bloody lying toerag! Not a trace of a daff. Not even any of them green shoot things we’d spotted down by the river. And there was me, getting all excited like. I’m sure he did it just to wind me up.

So, time for a conference. This is the right time of year, innit? Yep. We’re both of us fairly sure, it emerges, that daffs were out in bloom this time last year. Mind you, us being “fairly sure” is no recommendation or guarantee of anything, least of all anything to do with stuff wot grows.
Bedford Park! That’s a cast iron certainty. If daffs are gonna be out anywhere that’s where they’ll be. Somewhere near the lake there. Yep, that’s definitely where we’ll find some. Without a doubt.

Further conference as to whether we wanna trek all the way up there cos it must be at least, oh, twenty minutes’ walk away or so. At the speed we walk at least. Prob’ly more like five minutes for anyone else.
But there’s a hint of uncertainy about this. After all, its going to require a bit of energy. Exertion. And we don’t do exertion. Not often. Not unless we absolutely have to. Neither of us.

Turns out the deciding factor is the thought of the shop we’ll pass on route. For that shop means we can pick up some emergency rations of stuff like… er… ice cream. Yep. The day was that warm. And both of us have what you might call a bit of a weakness for the jolly old ice cream.

So the next stage of the Great Wild Daffodil Hunt commences.

Trudge along the road toward the Park then. Stop at said shop to collect said emergency rations. Re-commence trudge. Trudge trudge trudge. Right into the Park. Right to the side of the lake. Right to the seat by the side of the lake. Where we can recover from all the effort we’ve made, all the energy we’ve used. And where we can finish off said rations.
And why the hell do I always seem to get in such a bloody mess when I eat ice cream? The damn stuff ends up getting plastered all over my whiskers, dripping onto the seat, dripping onto me, running down my fingers. Hell, even a little kid wouldn’t get in as much mess as I seem to. Mate doesn’t of course. Oh no. Smarmy bastard!

And whilst we’re sat there, contemplating the next stage of our Hunt, who should decide to visit us but practically all the birds that frequent the lake. Swans and ducks mainly. Gathering around us and posing, obviously waiting for us to take their pics again, like wot we always do. They’re just getting a bit too damned familiar. And we both find that folk wot get a bit too damned familiar are a tad tiresome. Kinda stepping over the line so to speak.

“Go away!” sez we. “We’re not taking your photograph today.” So they do. Eventually. And clearly disconsolate about it. Well, tough!

Hunt resumes then, and head toward where we just know we’ll finally be successful.
Not! Not a single daff anywhere in sight. Loads of other flowers though. Snowdrops mainly I think. But I could be totally wrong cos I ain’t really up on all these new-fangled names. Far as I’m concerned they’re pretty flower thingies. Or have I already said that?

Bedford's Spring flowers _G103232

Oh well. Have to say that the Hunt wasn’t an entire failure. Cos we did see some bees. Lovely, fluffy, “I just wanna stroke ’em” type bees. My favourites. And got some pics of ’em too. Not brilliant pics to be sure. But hey, they’re bee pics and that’s good enough for me.

Bedford's Spring flowers _G103273

However, such a consolation prize didn’t really do the trick so, dismayed, despondent, downhearted and disappointed we mournfully slouch our way back to, well, The Bear basically.

Practically within sight of said establishment, little more than just across the road from it in fact, is St Peter’s Church. And what should we spy in the grounds thereof? A single, lone daffodil. Growing!

Result! Though we had to trek all the way around the town to find it. There. Right on our own sodding doorstep so to speak. Just our bloody luck.

Well, I s’pose it proves at least that Spring truly is right on our doorstep!

Bedford's Spring flowers _G103285

About fotdmike

Occasional photographer; occasional writer/blogger; occasional activist; occasional computer-geek. Bit of a fool really.
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11 Responses to The Great Wild Daffodil Hunt

  1. ellyukrm says:


    We’ve got several of the cheery little things growing right outside the front door here. Saw my first bee of the year today and some lesser celandine growing on the banks of the Lea as it runs beside the A6 in Luton, another sure sign that Spring is springing!

  2. imetam says:

    Sarah and I are heading to the Botanical Gardens tomorrow to find some flowers. Everything is blooming (or beginning to) here. Our Bradford Pear is about to explode with blooms. I am headed out now to get a few shots of the little buds. I bet they’ll be fully open by Saturday or Sunday…that is if the squirrels will stop eating them. 🙂

  3. fotdmike says:

    Yippee! It all seems to be happening at long last.


  4. forkboy says:

    A great tale Mike. It sounds like an ideal day, except for the lack of daffs.

    Ours are still green shoots striking forth from the still hard ground, but it looks like we might see some first blooms soon. But what an odd coincidence…. I took so many shots of the tulips and daffs last year and the year before I feel a bit burned out about them. And then here you are… trying to track them down.


    • fotdmike says:

      Different year, different flowers. The ones you shot last year can’t possibly be the same as the ones you could shoot this year… cos its all new growth see?


  5. forkboy says:

    See what?


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